R1 Wrap: MetroStars v Adelaide Comets
The 2016 season of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia is well underway, and the Adelaide Comets have secured bragging rights.
In a tale of two halves, the Comets soared away with a late 3-2 win.
Played at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday, the game was hard fought by both sides, but the Adelaide Comets dug deep and found grit, scoring their three goals late in the second half.
After returning to the fray of the second half, the young Comets squad pressured Metro relentlessly, demonstrating grunt, character, and ferocity in front of goal.
Metro though, were commanding in the first half and looked convincing, scoring in the 18th minute with a neat left-footed finish from Fabien Barbiero off a cut-back from Jonathon Negus.
The second goal, coming after half time, should have been a nail in the coffin – with Doni Pollock slotting home a toe-poke on 66 minutes.
"I got a rebound off the keeper, it fell straight to me just a few meters out from the goal.
It was a toe-poke, but I'll take it." He laughs.
Pollock says he's happy to get off the mark by scoring, but admits he's disappointed with the outcome of the game.
"It's great to get off the mark, but a win would have been better.
It's disappointing to be at 2-0 up, to then concede and let them back in the game.
The first 70 minutes of the game were great, we just lost concentration, we shouldn't be letting three goals in."
Football is a game fought over 90 minutes, and the Comets weren't ready to roll over and show their bellies, says Jack Bladen - scorer of the Comets first two goals.
"It was a battle, and the heat played a big part [on Saturday].
“The boys showed great character to fight back from 2-0 down, and it's great to see that we are clinical in front of goals."
Coming back from a half time deficit is never easy – let alone a three goal concession – and the Comets had their work cut out for them.
Bladen says they [the Comets] dominated the second-half, and he thinks a lot of the credit should go to Comets' head-coach, Theo Tsiounis.
"The changes the coach made in the second half were perfect, Theo (Balomenos) and Dave (Zerillo) changed the game for us off the bench, and those were great coaching decisions."
The Comets' first goal came in the 71st minute and the second, a first-time volley at the top of the box, belonged to Bladen.
He says the win was inevitable after the first two goals.
"We started creating chances, and the pressure just kept building.
“Once we were even, we knew that we were going to win the game, the goals created belief, and the last half an hour was full of chances."
Dave Zerillo secured the win at 83 minutes, with a neatly slotted finish.
Bladen says he's thrilled they redeemed themselves, though he admits they were outmatched in the first half.
"It's fair to say they were on top, they played really well in the first half.
“I'm disappointed, but kind of pleased that the first half of this game came in the first game of the year, so we can address the problem."
Pollock says, missing players would have made a huge difference to the side on Saturday, but that's just football.
"Liam (Wooding) - suspended - and Travis (Dodd) - injured – are two of our strongest players, and two of our leaders.
“They would have boosted the team on Saturday, but that's football."
The games won't be getting any easier this week, as MetroStars are set to play Raiders – who will be desperate for a home ground turnaround after their loss to South Adelaide.
While Comets are up against strong title contenders, Croydon Kings.
Written by Christian Fleetwood